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There are no community energy-type of projects in Latvia yet if one looks at existing forms of functional community. Very few examples are now also when local municipalities facilitate creation of cooperatives in the field of biomass supply from small forest owners to small municipal biomass plants.

While there are several of drivers that can help push development towards community energy type of projects, in particular political targets to increase share of renewable energy, electricity market liberalisation and increasing the capacity of distribution network to uptake electricity that is generated by small scale producers. Feed-in tariffs have proved to be efficient way to facilitate development of these type of projects.

Most relevant for community energy type of projects in Latvia would be if local governments start producing electricity to cover their needs in various municipal buildings and sell the rest to the grid. There has been already interest from some coastal municipalities to install wind turbines. Also PVs and solar collectors might be very feasible.

Looking at a broader picture, development of RES can deliver multiple benefits – lower  energy prices, promotion of employment and local economic development. There are well functioning examples in Latvia already.  Local municipalities play important role here. Small-scale projects, which are easier to manage as opposed to bigger infrastructures are more likely to result in positive publicity for local municipalities. 

For various community schemes, grants play important role, in particularly in poor areas and remote places. However various support schemes for renewable energy development in Latvia have been suspended, there are constant changes done to conditions of support for already existing RES producers, thus the situation for developing new RES projects is not favourable. 

Projects initiated by ‘local communities’ in Latvia could be supported through Community Led Local Development support scheme that aims to coordinate, create synergies and find innovation solutions through various activities in order to improve quality of life in rural areas – it includes activities in areas of economic, social and environment. Projects would go in line with Local Action Groups (LAGs) under LEADER type of scheme as well as supported via EU Funds.

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